Posts Tagged With: Tennessee

H-Bomb’s Friday Photo, week 26: Nashville after dark

Happy Friday, people. This evening, here in New York, I’ll be participating in one of my favourite activities anywhere in the world: walking across the Brooklyn Bridge!

But now it’s time for me to share a photo from another city that my travels have taken me to. This week’s featured image comes from Nashville, Tennessee in the southern United States. It shows Broadway, Nashville’s main downtown street for nightlife, all lit up in neon.

Nashville neon: looking down Broadway at night.

This photo was taken during my visit to Nashville in February 2013.

Of course, I don’t only travel in the United States; my World Karaoke Tour brings me all over the globe. But one place where I haven’t yet sung is the sky. I’ve long wished to have the experience of singing karaoke on an airplane, but that opportunity hasn’t yet arisen. Today, however, I learned that earlier this week, on a Finnair flight from Helsinki to Tokyo (two cities that I’ve been to), the cabin crew offered passengers the chance to sing karaoke in-flight!


Naturally, I’m disappointed that I’m only now hearing about this. 🙂 I really hope that Finnair will repeat this inspired entertainment offering, or that some other airline will see fit to do the same thing. It’s about time that I got the chance to sing in the friendly skies!

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Categories: H-Bomb's Friday Photo, North America, travel | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

A long weekend in Nashville, the cradle of country music

Nashville, the capital of Tennessee, is nicknamed “Music City,” and it’s particularly identified with the uniquely American form of entertainment that is country music. In February 2013, I spent a long weekend in Nashville, sandwiched around an overnight journey to the nearby city of Murfreesboro. During my all-too-brief stay in Nashville, I delved into the history and heritage of country music by exploring some of the places that honour and preserve that past. As well, I checked out out some of the other institutions that make Nashville special.

The Parthenon: a taste of Greece in the American South

Upon arriving at my Nashville hotel on a Friday night, my first order of business, naturally, was to sing karaoke in the hotel bar. But immediately afterward, I jumped into a cab and headed to a unique attraction: a full-scale replica of the Parthenon, complete with meticulous re-creations of the friezes on the pediment and entablature.

Nashville's full-scale duplicate of the Parthenon.

Nashville’s full-scale duplicate of the Parthenon, in Centennial Park.

Conceived as a temporary installation for the Tennessee Centennial exhibition in 1897, Nasvhille’s Parthenon was completely rebuilt with more permanent materials by 1931. Its floor plan duplicates that of its Greek doppelganger, and filling that floor is an art museum. The collection focuses on 19th and 20th century American landscape paintings, but its signature piece is a gilded, 42-foot-tall statue of the Greek goddess Athena, a reconstruction of an identical sculpture (known as “Athena Parthenos”) that once stood in the original Parthenon in Athens (but was removed by the Romans in the 5th century A.D.). Continue reading

Categories: North America, travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

It happened. I met another H-Bomb.

Actually, it’s happened twice now.

I’ve been singing under the sobriquet “H-Bomb” since 1992; the story of how I acquired that nickname can be found here. It’s rare to find another karaoke singer who uses any stage name, let alone mine. But occasionally I’m alerted to the presence of another H-Bomb in the karaoke world. When that occurs, I feel compelled to meet my namesake.

This is the story of how a world traveler like me ended up in the unlikely locations of Poughkeepsie, New York and Murfreesboro, Tennessee — and how establishments in those places, as well as in the larger Tennessee city of Nashville, became some of the most rewarding additions to my World Karaoke Tour.

April 2009: Poughkeepsie, New York

The town of Poughkeepsie in upstate New York is best known as the home of Vassar College, an elite liberal arts institution that was once known as one of the “Seven Sisters.” In 2009, that town landed on my radar screen for a reason that had nothing to do with higher education. A friend who lives nearby had driven by a local establishment called Planet Wings, and she reported that its marquee sign was advertising a “KARAOKE . . . BY H BOMB” show on Thursday nights.

Planet Wings sign

The marquee sign outside Planet Wings in Poughkeepsie, in April 2009.

So, on Thursday night, April 2, 2009, after work, I took a commuter train from Manhattan’s Grand Central Terminal to Poughkeepsie. Continue reading

Categories: North America, Uncategorized, World Karaoke Tour | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

H-Bomb’s Friday Photo, week 19: Nashville’s Union Station

To my fellow Americans: Happy National Margarita Day! And to everyone worldwide: I hope you’ve had a very happy Friday. I missed a week in this Friday photo series because I was on the road, visiting Nashville, Tennessee. But I’m back and better than ever! And this week’s featured image comes from Nashville. It’s a photo of that city’s Union Station:

Nashville Union Station

Opened in 1900, this Romanesque revival edifice originally served as a railroad terminal. Today it’s a luxury hotel (it calls itself the Union Station Hotel). The interior is reportedly quite ornate, featuring a lobby with a 65-foot barrel-vaulted ceiling and stained glass windows. (Regrettably, I didn’t have a chance to step inside; during my taxi ride to the airport at the conclusion of my visit to Nashville, I made a quick stop that only allowed me time to photograph the exterior.) The building was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1977.

This photo was taken last weekend. 🙂 I’ll have much more to say in the near future about my visit to the great state of Tennessee.

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Categories: H-Bomb's Friday Photo, North America, travel | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments

8 things I’m looking forward to in the next 12 months

One year ago today, I launched this blog by sending my first post into cyberspace. Having never operated a website before, I really had no idea of what I was getting into. But it’s been an incredible year. Portugal, Egypt, and Germany became countries no. 24, 25, and 26 on my World Karaoke Tour; I enjoyed writing about my international karaoke experiences and other travel adventures; and I discovered an amazing and inspiring community of travel bloggers. Along the way, I’ve connected with some very cool people. Learning from them has already helped to make my travels more fulfilling.

There was a rough patch during the early part of 2012 when I got sick and suspended my blogging for over three months. Let us never speak of that dark period again, except to say that getting through it provided me with a renewed sense of purpose, and even a sense of urgency. The realisation that I can’t take my health for granted now motivates me to enjoy life to the best of my ability, and to prioritise seeing as much as I can of the beauty and wonder in this world — while getting to know the people who live in it.

As I commemorate the first anniversary of this website (an occasion that’s also known in the vernacular as my “blogoversary”), I’m eager to embark on the next 12 months! I’ve got some exciting plans lined up for the second year of H-Bomb’s Worldwide Karaoke. I’m especially anticipating the following events:

1. Santacon in New York City

One of the annual highlights of the holiday season for me is Santacon: a celebration held on the same day in various cities around the world, during which large numbers of people dressed as Santas and other seasonally appropriate characters cavort around town, make merriment, and (of course) consume generous quantities of alcoholic beverages. New York City’s Santacon is usually the biggest, featuring thousands of participants; and it’s just generally a really fun time. Here you can read my blog post about last year’s edition of Santacon. Santacon 2012 will be held on December 15 in at least 37 countries! It’ll be my fifth consecutive year of hanging with the Santas. (In case you’re wondering, I do not, myself, don a Santa outfit, beyond wearing the red hat with white trim. But hey, someone has to document the proceedings on the internet. So I still make a vital contribution. :))

2. Istanbul for New Year’s

I typically spend my New Year’s Eves overseas, and the dawn of 2013 will be no exception. On December 27 I’m heading to Istanbul, the only city in the world that straddles two continents; that’s where I’ll be as the world rings in yet another year! Continue reading

Categories: Europe, South America, travel, World Karaoke Tour | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

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